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General 4e Healing was the best D&D healing

DnD Warlord

Explorer
4e needed some work. However I think it was the best edition yet. I feel that as great as 5e is, they slid backwards. I hope someday 6e will build off the 4e franework
 

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I understand why you do it, but it hurts front line fighter/barbarian types much more than other PCs. I'd want to tie something in to the PC's total HP; a fighter that is hit with a crit for 20 points of damage is taking significantly less damage overall than a wizard hit for the same 20 points.

That and the back line guys tend to be more affected by save for damage spells and breath weapons in my experience.
Front line characters should be getting wounded, though. They're in harm's way. They should be harmed. They're just built to survive after being harmed.

I'd be fine with giving melee characters different ways to mitigate the threat of wounds. Nimble types might have an ability to downgrade a crit into a normal hit once per fight, and then make a riposte. Armored folks could just use their armor to downgrade a crit into a hit, or a hit into a miss, but then have to repair the damage to the armor.

And in my preferred system, we'd take the 4e concept of 'the attacker always rolls' and combine it with the PF2 concept of 'crit success, success, failure, mishap.' So a dragon could crit with its breath weapon, for instance.

Everyone would have two or three saves, which would be abilities that could be used once per combat to downgrade the severity of an attack against them, and then get some sort of perk or reaction. The trick would be deciding when to use them, or to deplete your foe's save on weaker attacks and then use your cool finishing move.

For instance, a wizard might have the ability to downgrade a spell attack against them, and if they can downgrade it to a mishap, they can actually rebound the spell at the caster. A barbarian might be able to simply downgrade any melee attack and make a grab or shove against the attacker. An alchemist could downgrade attacks that land near them if they match the keyword of an alchemical formula they know, which would let them get an extra use of that item. A monk might downgrade an attack and throw the attacker into someone else, potentially tripping both of them.

Stuff like that.
 
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This is a key element of my "colorful critical hit" system- kind of. I tie critical severity to the damage dealt by the crit vs. current hit points- otherwise, high level characters never suffer from grievous wounds.
I considered something like that, but I was trying to avoid having to both do math to figure out a ratio, and also do "if X, then A; if Y, then B."
 

Saelorn

Hero
Now 4E clerics I did enjoy because you could be something other than a healbot.
Conversely, 4E was the first time I didn't enjoy playing a cleric, because they couldn't actually heal anyone - which is the primary reason I would want to play that class in the first place.

Back in AD&D, taking damage was something to be avoided, because recovering from it was so difficult. Even if it wasn't immediately life-threatening, the damage felt like it was really holding you back; and when that damage was removed, it was a huge relief, because you didn't have to worry about it anymore.

With the over-all 4E model, damage stopped being meaningful. It was much more difficult to win a fight before it began, and you couldn't really even stack your defense to make it unlikely that you would get hit, but healing was easier than ever. If nobody was there to provide magical healing, then well... you'll be good as new in five minutes, or tomorrow morning at the absolute latest.

I appreciate that healing surges provided a mechanical limit on the amount of healing you could receive in a day, and that it helped healing abilities to scale numerically in a logical fashion, but the over-all ease of healing presented a radical shift in tone. It no longer felt like anyone was really even getting hurt anymore, and it felt like magical healing became entirely superfluous and underwhelming (from both a mechanical and narrative standpoint).
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Front line characters should be getting wounded, though. They're in harm's way. They should be harmed. They're just built to survive after being harmed.

I'd be fine with giving melee characters different ways to mitigate the threat of wounds. Nimble types might have an ability to downgrade a crit into a normal hit once per fight, and then make a riposte. Armored folks could just use their armor to downgrade a crit into a hit, or a hit into a miss, but then have to repair the damage to the armor.
But if I have 200 HP and take 20 damage, it's a glancing blow that I barely notice. If I have 30 HP (to go to an extreme) it's a really solid hit and the next one is likely to take me out of combat.

I just think front line types are already significantly penalized on a regular basis the way it is. It's one reason I don't do extra things on crits or fumbles for that matter.

But do what you works for you and your group,
 

But if I have 200 HP and take 20 damage, it's a glancing blow that I barely notice. If I have 30 HP (to go to an extreme) it's a really solid hit and the next one is likely to take me out of combat.
If you go from 200 to 180, you're like a marathon runner who has just gotten past mile three. If you go from 30 to 10, you're a novice 5k jogger who is nearly pooped.

But if either one of them gets stabbed in the leg, they'll have a hard time jogging. You might have a ton of HP - e.g., the stamina to keep fighting - but you'll have to change your tactics.

I contrast this against many older, dumber critical hit systems where crits would, like, lop off limbs or whatever. I played Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader, and you'd be gradually replacing body parts just due to bad dice rolling. But I'm intentionally making it so the wounds only hinder you for an encounter or two, unless the attack would have potentially killed you anyway.
 

Minigiant

Legend
The way I'd say it is

4e Healing was the best table top fantasy RPG healing. It however required too many departures from traditional D&D to be the best D&D healing.


or

It's "All we ever wanted" then we realized as a community we didn't want what we wanted.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I was fine with healing surges when they were Second Wind in SWSE. They were limited to certain situations and potentially dramatic. In 4e, I hated external healing resources like potions being diverted into spending healing surges. I recognize that it was done to apply someone's idea of balance to the mechanical gameplay but it didn't work as a concept for me. 5e's hit dice work much better for me.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If you go from 200 to 180, you're like a marathon runner who has just gotten past mile three. If you go from 30 to 10, you're a novice 5k jogger who is nearly pooped.

But if either one of them gets stabbed in the leg, they'll have a hard time jogging. You might have a ton of HP - e.g., the stamina to keep fighting - but you'll have to change your tactics.

I contrast this against many older, dumber critical hit systems where crits would, like, lop off limbs or whatever. I played Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader, and you'd be gradually replacing body parts just due to bad dice rolling. But I'm intentionally making it so the wounds only hinder you for an encounter or two, unless the attack would have potentially killed you anyway.
Except that guy with the 200 HP that takes 20 damage is not "stabbed in the leg". Because of their experience they twist at the last moment and it's a glancing blow or a superficial wound. The guy with 30 HP didn't do that so it's a severe gash. The guy with 10 HP goes down because he has no clue how to take a blow and it severed the femoral artery.

Anyway, just relaying the objection that I would have as a player. Every crit system I've seen penalizes front line fighters more than others. It's at the point now where unless there's some way to take various factors into account I don't know if I'd play with a DM that used a crit system because I like to play front line fighters.

It's free advice and probably worth what it cost. Take it or leave it. Have a good one!
 

Dausuul

Legend
Agree or disagree?
Agree.

IMO, the big problem with healing surges was not the mechanic itself - which is superior, for all the reasons you point out - but the presentation, specifically the choice of names. The decision of what to name things is hugely important in RPGs; it's the single most important way in which the fiction gets hooked up to the mechanics. Wizards dropped the ball with this in 4E, and healing surges are an example.

4E was the first edition to really embrace the idea that hit points are not meat, and that "damage" doesn't have to mean serious physical injury. Unfortunately, they kept all the old naming conventions which suggest the exact opposite. "Healing surge" is an example: If you recover hit points by means of a "healing surge," that implies that you are, well, healing, and this naturally leads to questions about how the warlord shouting at you causes your wounds to close.

On top of that, healing surges were presented as a resource that you can "spend." Except that you can't just spend a healing surge when you need hit points--something has to unlock the surge first. This is counterintuitive and confusing. Players quite reasonably expect that when they have a spendable resource available, they can spend it when needed.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The campaign I'm (slowly) writing includes a healing house rule.

When you heal, you must also consume a HD. That HD is added to the amount you heal.

This includes most magical healing, except Regeneration effects. It also includes using the Healer's Kit. Fighter's Second Wind is increased to 1/2 Fighter Level d10 (round down) + fighter level but doesn't cost HD (it is, in effect, bonus HD).

Now, it also uses gritty rests (short rests are overnight), but that is a pacing mechanism. ("Dungeons" or encounter sites are budgeted to last a single scene, time between short rests).

There is also a system whereby HD recover faster than baseline 5e (overnight (aka, short rest), you get to roll expended HD to recover: even rolls 4 or greater recover. This recovers about half of your HD on a d12, but 1/3 of your HD on a d6).

All healing is bigger; a level healing word on a barbarian heals 1d12+1d4+3 (12), and a healing potion is 13.5, both of which is are pretty nice. But larger heals are more efficient in terms of HD used. If you use piles of small heals, you'll end up exhausting the person you are healing too fast.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Less hp a vitality wound system and a healingsurge like mechanic would all work well togather...

I proposed lowering al HD die codes (except barbarian keeping d12 and paliden keeping d10) making HD come every other level (odd levels) with even levels getting a fixed amount like 2e post 9th level (so +1 +2 or +3 hp) but 1st character level is always con score hp...

Then healing surges equal to your Wis or con mod + 1/2 level...

So a 20th level fighter would have con score +9d8+30hp and con mod+10 healig surges
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I agree that Healing Surges are really nice, and I like it when all characters have access to them.
But for me, HP has never been Meat-Points, it's been #of times I can shrug off a "successful" attack against my HP Defense.

Success ≠ injury; otherwise we'd all be Monty Python Black Knights bleeding all over the place and threatening to bite the legs off our enemies.

Such a traumatic injury would be something that can happen at 0 HP (or if an attack reduces me to 0 HP from whereever). HP represents my morale and inner strength to keep pushing through exhaustion & pain. These are blows that hit my armor, and the armor wasn't able to glance off all the pain of the impact. I'm slowing down a bit, or I would be without the inspiration from the battle-drummer, or from my C.O. telling me to get over it, or from the shepherd of my faith telling me that my god is with me. In each of those cases, they used Healing Word (or some variation of it) on me, allowing me to access my healing surges and push through the pain to find another level of fortitude to keep going.

That said, I feel strongly that HP has some silly overlap with my 4 Defences in 4e - Armor Class, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will(power). I'd actually prefer a system that got rid of HP entirely and leaned solely on those defences, or one where each defence has its own HP of sorts. 4e was working in the right direction, both here and with minions.

5e threw out a lot of these HP-related questions in favor of bounded accuracy and unbounded HP & dmg die potential to determine the survivability of characters. A minion in 5e is a lower-leveled creature who essentially would be taken out in a single blow, rather than a high level enemy with higher defences but only 1 HP. PCs no longer have healing surges (except Fighters). Healing is more explicitely magical when it's not coming from a healer's kit, and most of it happens outside of the combat stage. This is okay for a less-combat focused game, but it does make having an Artificer, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Divine Soul Sorcerer, or Celestial Pact Warlock more essential to the party. You can't get buy without a healer character. It's a more party-focused game, in that sense.
 

Obviously this comes from personal preference rather than any type of claim I'm trying to make objectively about 4e. My favorite edition is 1e, so that's where I'm coming from. My preference is towards a lower healing style of play. So frequent healing just doesn't fit my preferences. I'm also a fan of niche protection, so having every class do healing is another thing that doesn't fit my preference.

For the record, this isn't just a 4e thing. The biggest issue I have with 5e RAW is healing back to max after a long rest, followed by frequent hit dice healing options.
Although I loved 4ed. I totally agree with you on that one. I come from 1ed too but I took 4ed for what it was. A new edition and a new way to play. It was a very balanced edition compared to what was before. Still trapped in the ever increasing need for better magic items but it had some real good qualities.

As for healing in the 5ed. I use the no hp recovered beside the HD you take approach. Players are a lot more cautious, especially if you apply the 5-6 encounters per day and that random encounter gives no exp.
 




dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
{snip}

All healing is bigger; a level healing word on a barbarian heals 1d12+1d4+3 (12), and a healing potion is 13.5, both of which is are pretty nice. But larger heals are more efficient in terms of HD used. If you use piles of small heals, you'll end up exhausting the person you are healing too fast.
So, what happens when someone runs out of HD, but still needs healing? Magic doesn't work anymore?
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
So, what happens when someone runs out of HD, but still needs healing? Magic doesn't work anymore?
If it's based on 4e - yup. There's nothing for the healing to draw on, so it doesn't work. (So you can't go longer just because there's a cleric.)
 

Except that guy with the 200 HP that takes 20 damage is not "stabbed in the leg". Because of their experience they twist at the last moment and it's a glancing blow or a superficial wound. The guy with 30 HP didn't do that so it's a severe gash. The guy with 10 HP goes down because he has no clue how to take a blow and it severed the femoral artery.
What you describe is how D&D currently tends to frame things, sure. And if that's the way you like to run your games, go for it.

But I feel like that leads to a need for judgment calls by the GM, and retroactive narration. "He stabs you . . . I think. How much HP do you have? Oh, 10 left? Okay, yeah, he impales you a little."

Whereas in my preferred system, HP is just the ability to keep fighting. If someone simply does HP damage to you, there's never ever at all in any way ever an actual wound that is severe enough to impede your performance. But if someone critically hits you, they actually did cause a real wound that will have real consequences, even if the hit didn't wind you that much. How wounded you are is not related to how much stamina you have.

And if a low-level character with 30 HP is reduced to 0 HP, they aren't necessarily wounded. They're just worn out. Someone smacks them in the chest or slams them in the gut or bonks them on the head, and they fall and can't summon the vigor to get back up. But give them a few minutes, and they'll catch their breath.

That, to me, matches how action movie combat works.
 

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